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Bristol Man Says Sight Loss Means He Cannot Find A Job

April 23, 2021

A man who began losing his sight six years ago says he has struggled to find work despite applying for more than 100 jobs.

Brett Francis, from Kingswood, Bristol, left his last job in 2015 just before his eyesight began to deteriorate.

He says nobody wants to employ him now because of his disability.

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) says employment chances for blind and partially-sighted people are a long-standing issue.

Mr Francis, 33, says he has not even been invited for an interview despite all of his job applications.

“I tick the box on the paperwork that says I’m disabled and then I hear nothing back,” he said.

“They [employers] are pretty vague. They just say ‘thank you for your time but you’ve not been successful’.”

Having applied for jobs in areas such as retail, sport, call handler centres and offices, he said he can only assume his vision is the reason.

“I don’t really know [why] but I’m putting it down to my eyesight,” Mr Francis said.

“There could be me and somebody who has no sight loss and I believe they would employ that person because there’s no issue that they need to cater for.”

“I’m not saying I could do any job, but there are a lot of roles I could do,” Mr Francis added.

“Obviously I need some extra help, I need some adaptations, but I’m willing to put the effort in.

“But to show what I’m capable of I need that chance and nobody is willing to put themselves out there to help me.”

Alice Archer, from Bristol-based RNIB, said Mr Francis’ situation was “unfortunately” typical and only one in four blind or partially-sighted people were in work, a statistic that has remained largely the same for 20 years.

“We speak to a lot of people who are in a similar situation to Brett where they’ve got lots of skills, they’ve got lots of experience and they’ve got lots of enthusiasm that they want to offer a workplace but they’re just not finding employers who are willing to give them a chance,” she said.

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